Inclusive strategies for teachers and parents in italy
What were the main aims of the initiative?
The project ‘Ricerca-azione’ ran from 2008 to 2010 with a group of local schools. Two private schools and one state school worked together to analyse and promote inclusion in schools.
Once the project plan was drafted and the participants shared ideas and suggestions, the teaching staff chose a group of co-ordinators to be responsible for the school analysis.
The data analysis led to the testing of strategies: co-operative learning and ways to improve the ‘inclusive style’ of students, teachers and parents.
The following goals have been set:
The main aims are:
Location, setting, Scope, key events etc.
Istituto Figlie Del Sacro Cuore Di Gesú is located in the Northern Italy in a medium- size city (130,000 inhabitants). It is a private Catholic school and it includes kindergarten, primary and lower-secondary school (students of age 3–13 years).
Private schools usually welcome students from the wider district; therefore getting to know the area the students come from is not easy. Students live in different areas, in cities or villages, and they have chosen this school for several reasons: the educational syllabus provided, their parents’ working duties and/or the full-time curriculum, and the fact that the school is not open on Saturdays.
The school staff feels that meeting and sharing with the local community where students live is one of the key points of inclusive education.
What issues/challenges does the example address?
Throughout the years, ‘testing’ inclusive educational strategies showed some critical areas for development, such as in the areas of teachers’ and parents’ competences.
After the 2010 ‘Ricerca-azione’ project, the schools’ attitude towards inclusion has been analysed. This analysis showed that the weakest points were: the awareness of the way that educational limits and low expectations can disadvantage the students, the best ways to praise the students’ talents and the need for parental involvement.
For these reasons, the schools’ actions were focussed on achieving two main aims: empowering teachers through additional training and involving all families to share the principles of inclusive education.
How was the Initiative implemented?
What where the key Outcomes? What impact/added value did they prove? What were the biggest challenges?
Training on inclusion and inclusive education allowed the research team to:
Has the initiative been evaluated or are there plans for this in the future?
The following conclusions have been drawn from the Inclusive Commission and from class meetings:
Issues exist and fatigue is noticeable, but the school keeps working in order to break down barriers to inclusion. When the staff team talk about inclusive theory, all adults recognise such actions as good and politically correct, but when they have to turn them into practice on a daily basis and make choices taking inclusive principles into account, doubts and misunderstandings arise.
Have any plans been made for future direction of the initiative?
Now the main focus is on co-operation with families in order to share ideas and thoughts on inclusive education. The main aim is to create the right inclusive atmosphere that allows parents to play their roles positively, to recognise the different roles, to share competencies and education strategies and avoid delegating all educational responsibility to the school.
What are the main learning points?
Here some observations that came to light during the feedback of the Inclusive Commission:
Are there further information about supporting materials?
Booth, T., & Ainscow, M. 2011. Index for Inclusion: Developing Learning and Participation in Schools. Bristol: CSIE.
Medeghini, R. 2009. La ricerca della qualità. In Medeghini R. et al. L’inclusione scolastica. Processi e strumenti di autoanalisi per la qualità inclusiva. Brescia: Vannini Editrice, pp. 51–68
Medeghini, R. 2011. L’inclusione nella prospettiva ecologica delle relazioni in Medeghini, R., Fornasa, W. (a cura di). L’educazione inclusiva. Culture e pratiche nei contesti educativi e scolastici: una prospettiva psicopedagogica. Milano: Angeli Editore
Medeghini R., D’Alessio S. 2012. Contribution des systèmes de soutienau développementde l’éducation inclusive. La nouvelle revue de l’adaptation et de la scolarisation. No 57 pp. 13–24. INS HEA – SURESNES
Medeghini R., Vadalà, G. et al. 2013. Analyse critique du processus d’intégration scolaire en Italie; vers une prospective inclusive, in J. M. Perez, T. Assude, Pratiques inclusives et savoirs scolaires, paradoxes, contradictions et perspectives, Nancy: Presses Universitaires de Nancy, pp. 29–46
Medeghini, R. et al. 2013. Disability Studies e inclusione. In Medeghini, R. et al. Disability Studies. Emancipazione, inclusione scolastica e sociale, cittadinanza. Trento: Centro Studi Erickson, pp. 191–227
Medeghini, R. 2015. (ed.). Norma e normalità nei Disability Studies. Riflessioni e analisi critica per ripensare la disabilità. Trento: Erickson
Vadalà, G. 2011. La riproduzione della disabilità nella scuola dell’integrazione. In Medeghini, R. and Fornasa W (ed.) L’educazione inclusiva. Culture e pratiche in contesti educativi e scolastici. Una prospettiva psicopedagogica. Milano: Franco Angeli, pp. 129–155
Valtellina E. (2011). Storie dei Disability Studies. In Medeghini R.et al Disability Studies. Emancipazione, inclusione scolastica e sociale, cittadinanza. Trento: Centro Studi Erickson, pp. 23-51